Property Division in a Virginia Divorce
How do divorcing parties determine who keeps the house? The retirement plan? The dog? The debt? In a divorce, all respective assets are identified, valued, and allocated between the parties – this can range from bank accounts to vehicles, businesses to real estate.
3 Types of Property Recognized in a Virginia Divorce:
Any property that was acquired prior to your marriage or acquired by separate gift or inheritance during the marriage from anyone other than your spouse is considered separate property. Proving property is separate may be difficult, so if you believe that you or your spouse have items of separate property, you should make your attorney aware of this as early in the process as possible.
Big or little, pricey or inexpensive, anything that was acquired during the marriage by either party or both parties together – regardless of whose credit card it went on or whose name is on the title – is presumed to be marital property.
Part marital and part separate property is classified as hybrid property in a Virginia divorce. Common examples of this include a home purchased during the marriage where the down payment came from one or both parties' pre-marital savings, or an IRA with contributions both before and after the marriage. In general, the party seeking to classify property as hybrid has the burden of proving this.
How Property is Divided in a Virginia Divorce:
The process of property division in a Virginia divorce is called “equitable distribution” but this doesn’t necessarily infer that there is a 50/50 split of the assets. Many factors are considered when dividing property, including the duration of your marriage, the monetary and nonmonetary contributions of each party to the family and property, circumstances surrounding the divorce, and much more.
In the process of property division, valuation is critical. Determining the fair value of marital, separate, and hybrid property in a divorce allows for a truly equitable division of the assets. An experienced Virginia divorce attorney has the knowledge and resources – such as access to accountants, appraisers, and other professional financial experts – to help you present an accurate and reasonable picture of the value of your assets to the court.
What is a Property Settlement Agreement (PSA)?
Property settlement agreements, also known as separation agreements, address the rights of both parties regarding property division of course, but also custody, visitation, child support, and spousal support. Whether your PSA is scribbled on a piece of stray notepaper or formally drafted, it is a contract.
The majority of Virginia divorce cases resolve with the signing of a PSA so it is important to make sure it is drafted correctly. Never, ever, sign a PSA or any other agreement with your spouse, no matter how short or inconsequential it may seem, without having it reviewed by your attorney first.
Meet with an Experienced Virginia Divorce Property Settlement Attorney
Property division in a Virginia divorce has many facets. The attorneys at Curran Moher Weis. can help represent your interests and protect your future when it comes to divorce and property settlement outcomes. Request a consultation today.